Busline News July 2019
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By Rick Mullen,
Busline Magazine Associate Editor
The following import/export categories include motor buses, coaches, trolley buses and gyrobuses.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau trade figures for April 2019 indicated vehicle imports were up in five categories outlined, compared to April 2018. For the first four months of 2019, vehicles imports were up in seven categories, compared to the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons, Incl
The United States imported 222 vehicles in April 2019, up 34 percent from 166 vehicles imported in April 2018. For the first four months of 2019, the United States imported 803 vehicles, up 7 percent from 751 for the first four months of 2018.
Canada sent 381 vehicles to the United States during the first four months of 2019, while Mexico exported 208 and North Macedonia shipped 176.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $302,132.67, down 25 percent from the average price for April 2018 of $404,110.87. The average price per vehicle for the first four months of 2019 was $339,861.47, down 17 percent from $407,986 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Passenger Vehicles For Transport Of 10 Or More Persons With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Other
The United States received 133 vehicles in April 2019, up significantly from 39 vehicles for April 2018. For the first four months of 2019, the United States imported 479 vehicles, up significantly from 147 vehicles for the first four months of 2018.
The United States imported 472 vehicles from Germany during the first four months of 2019.
The average price of the vehicles for April 2019 was $37,849.31, down 8 percent from $40,958.33 for April 2018. The average price per vehicle for the first four months of 2019 was $43,517.68, down 16 percent from $52,115 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric Motor Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons
The United States imported 68 vehicles during April 2019, compared to one vehicle for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 118 vehicles were imported, also compared to one vehicle for the first four months of 2018.
All the vehicles imported came from Canada.
The average price for April 2019 was $229,396.76, compared to $65,100 for April 2018. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $241,776.19, also compared to $65,100 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For Transport Of 10 Or More Persons With Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric
No vehicles in this category were imported during 2018 and 2019.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine And Electric Motor For 16 Or More Persons
No vehicles in this category were received by the United States in April 2019 or April 2018. Two vehicles were imported during the first four months of 2019. No vehicles were imported during the first four months of 2018.
The United States imported two vehicles from Canada during the first four months of 2019, at an average price of $15,200.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine and Electric Motor for 10 to 15 Persons
The United States imported no vehicles in this category during April 2019 or April 2018. During the first four months 2019, no vehicles in this category have been received, compared to one vehicle during the first four months of 2018, at a price of $10,325.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Electric Motor Only, For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons Including Driver
The United States imported 79 vehicles during April 2019. There were no vehicles received during April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 213 vehicles were received, compared to six for the first four months of 2018.
Canada shipped 181 vehicles during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $130,665.37. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $95,020.43, down 49 percent from $186,731.67 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles, With Electric Motor Only For Propulsion, NESOI
The United States imported three vehicles during April 2019, down 77 percent from 13 vehicles for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 25 vehicles were imported, up 14 percent from 22 vehicles for the first four months of 2018.
China sent all of the vehicles during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $6,420.33, down 25 percent from $8,554 for April 2018. The average price per vehicle for the first four months of 2019 was $7,947.32, up 3 percent from $7,735.05 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For 16 Or More Persons Including Driver, NESOI
The United States imported 141 vehicles during April 2019, up 76 percent from 80 for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 408 vehicles were received, up 12 percent from 364 for the first four months of 2018.
Canada sent 397 vehicles to the United States during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $62,674.26, down 6 percent from $66,435.68 for April 2018. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $61,203.79, down 19 percent from $75,477.04 for the first four months of 2018.
Motor Vehicles For The Transport Of 10 To 15 Persons Including Driver, NESOI
The United States imported 71 vehicles during April 2019, down 66 percent from 209 during April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 390 vehicles were received, down 35 percent from 600 for the first four months of 2018.
Canada sent 349 vehicles to the United States during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $45,293.32, up 9 percent from $41,668.33 for April 2018. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $45,026.72, down 1 percent from $45,627.14 for the first four months of 2018.
Export totals for April 2019 were up in three categories, compared to April 2018. For the first four months of 2019, three categories also reported increases.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With A Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) Only
The United States exported 630 vehicles during April 2019, down 14 percent from 736 vehicles exported in April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 2,030 were sent, down 22 percent from 2,614 for the first four months of 2018.
Canada received 1,191 vehicles during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $62,302.98, down 11 percent from the average price for April 2018 of $70,078.69. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $64,664.64, down 14 percent from $75,179.19 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Vehicles With Both Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) & Electric Motor
The United States shipped 361 vehicles in April 2019, compared to 70 vehicles for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 1,327 vehicles were exported, compared to 94 for the first four months of 2018.
Canada received 1,231 vehicles during the first four months of 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $27,683.46, down 58 percent from the average price for April 2018 of $65,924.90. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $28,073.63, down 47 percent from $53,057.17 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine & Electric Motor
The United States exported 28 vehicles in April 2019, up 47 percent from 19 vehicles for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 101 vehicles were shipped, up 71 percent from 59 vehicles for the first four months of 2018.
Mexico received 43 vehicles during the first four months 2019.
The average price per vehicle for April 2019 was $33,658.86, up 9 percent from the average price for April 2018 of $30,824.84. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $30,284.89, up 3 percent from $29,267.75 for the first four months of 2018.
Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Electric Motor For Propulsion
The United States shipped 73 vehicles in April 2019, compared to 12 vehicles for April 2018. During the first four months of 2019, 81 vehicles were exported, compared to 24 vehicles for the first four months of 2018.
Canada received 73 vehicles during the first four months of 2019.
The average price for April 2019 was $28,438.85, down 79 percent from $134,766.25 for April 2018. The average price for the first four months of 2019 was $28,414.42, down 72 percent from $100,331.42 for the first four months of 2018.
Click on statistics to open .pdf file
News From Prevost
Marcus Griffin Joins Prevost In Pre-Owned Coach Sales
Marcus Griffin, an experienced bus industry professional based in Texas, has joined Prevost as a pre-owned coach regional sales manager. His territory includes Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and New Mexico. He also covers Puerto Rico.
“We are thrilled to have Marcus on board,” said Guillaume Charron, director of pre-owned coach sales. “His knowledge and experience in the industry as an operator will definitely help us grow the U.S. south central region, while providing excellent support to our customers.”
Griffin entered the bus business in 2001 when he worked with OK Tours, a family-owned motorcoach tour and charter operation in San Antonio, TX.
Griffin said the Sarmiento family, owners of OK Tours, became his family and the bus industry became his calling. He attended Incarnate Word College for a year and a half studying business management, but said working with OK Tours was truly his university.
Beginning with small jobs around the office to washing buses and helping the outside crew, his responsibilities and promotions steadily increased as he grew older and gained experience. He eventually held management positions in sales and operations. Griffin moves to Prevost from his last position as chief operations officer.
He resides in San Antonio, TX, with his wife, April, and their two children.
Intercar Adds Four Prevost 2019 H3-45 Models
Georges Gilbert founded Intercar in 1959, and 60 years later, it still stands as the second-largest bus and coach carrier in the province of Quebec, Canada. Intercar runs school buses, providing student transportation in the greater-Quebec area, and offers motorcoaches for charter services. The company recently added four new 2019 H3-45 coaches to expand its charter services, bringing the total number of coaches in its predominantly Prevost fleet to 30.
Third generation owner and CEO, Hugo Gilbert, took over Intercar from his father, Jasmin Gilbert in 1996. Jasmin Gilbert put in 20 years at the helm following his father, Georges’ retirement. During his tenure, Jasmin managed the acquisition of the Voyageur routes in 1990 that took in the Saguenay region and the north coast of the Saint Lawrence River. Today, Intercar employs 400 drivers, technicians and professional staff to deliver student transportation, coach charters, as well as scheduled service and shuttles, medical and adapted mobility transport, and parcel service.
Hugo Gilbert said he has always been drawn to the look of Prevost coaches, and he appreciates that Prevost was founded and is still headquartered in nearby St. Claire, Quebec. He is especially appreciative of the Prevost electric fan drive system on his new 2019 coaches, which helps save on fuel costs.
“The transmission is also a must,” said Gilbert. “Also, the back-up camera is a new feature we find extremely helpful.”
Intercar plans to utilize the new H3-45 coaches predominately for scheduled charter services into the U.S.
“With mileage adding up quickly, our newest Prevost coaches are going to offer us a definite advantage,” said Gilbert. “We know downtime can be minimized (when our drivers are so far away from home) due to product reliability and the numerous maintenance and support services Prevost provides.”
Prevost is a manufacturer of premium intercity touring coaches and a world leader in the production of conversion coaches for high-end motorhome and specialty conversion. For more information, visit www.prevostcar.com.
In Partnership With BYD
Indianapolis Announces Wireless Inductive Charging Deployment Of Electric Vehicles
Momentum Dynamics Corporation, which offers high-power wireless charging for electric vehicles, announced that (in partnership with BYD and IndyGo) it will install three 300-kilowatt inductive charging points in Indianapolis.
Its technology will help power IndyGo’s 60-foot electric buses on the Red Line rapid transit route through on-route charging. Each time a bus reaches an inductive charger, located at endpoints of the route, the battery automatically receives a charging boost enabling the vehicle to continue along the route.
“BYD applauds IndyGo for bringing zero emission technology to its community, reducing air pollution and providing smoother, quieter trips for riders,” said Bobby Hill, vice president of BYD Coach & Bus. “BYD is working hand-in-hand with IndyGo to ensure the continued success of its service.”
The official sponsor of Mother Nature™, BYD has 220,000 employees across the globe, including nearly 1,000 in North America. For more information, visit www.BYD.com.
More Compact MCI J3500 Fits Business Expansion At Arrow Stage Lines
Among the first to place an order for the all-new MCI J3500 was Arrow Stage Lines. Pictured are, from left, Alex Busskohl, Luke Busskohl and Jeff Howes all from Arrow, and, also pictured are MCI representatives Aram Nikitas, Paul Remillard, David Dunn and Shane Sutyla.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (NFI), has delivered three new 2019 J3500 coaches to Omaha, NE-based Arrow Stage Lines.
“Arrow Stage Lines was among the first to place an order for the 35-foot model, paired with the bestselling J4500 as the new MCI J-Series family. The new 2019 MCI J3500 features best-in-class legroom and baggage capacity among all 35-foot coach models, including a 33-foot turning radius for top maneuverability,” according to a press release.
Arrow has stationed the new models at its Omaha, Denver and Kansas City locations.
“A smaller-size luxury coach works best in these markets,” said Alex Busskohl, Arrow’s corporate operations and marketing specialist and fourth-generation leadership of the family-run business. “We consider the needs of our customers, and we’ve found some smaller groups see more compact coaches as more space-efficient and environmentally friendly.”
Arrow already has sent its new MCI J3500s on tour as part of its existing 250-coach fleet, (102 coaches are MCI J4500s), and a total of 15 35-foot coach models including those from other manufacturers.
“Our customers enjoy these new 35-foot MCI models,” said Busskohl. “They make the same luxury, top-of-the line coach statement as our J4500s. And we’re very glad MCI now offers a smaller size coach.”
Arrow ordered its new J3500 coaches with 40-seat passenger capacity for additional legroom. The model also comes in a standard 42- or maximum 44-seat configuration — with leatherette seating by Amaya. It includes MCI’s optional variable lighting package that allows operators to customize the interior look of its coaches to suit clients’ brands and preferences.
Arrow tracks and analyzes its data to improve its overall operations and marketing. Busskohl said that Arrow uses its on-time performance statistics to win new business, and fuel efficiency is an important metric, as fuel is the largest operational expense in a fleet of Arrow’s size.
“The J3500 is making important strides in fuel efficiency. It’s performing well — even a half-point gain in fuel economy is important to us operationally,” he added.
Arrow is positioned for future growth. It operates 12 facilities, including locations in Des Moines, IA, Las Vegas and Phoenix, AZ, where it just won a shuttle contract with Arizona State University requiring 25 coaches, and launched Arrow Nationwide Ground Logistics which, it said, delivers a nationwide transportation solution in any needed area throughout the U.S.
For more information, visit Arrowstagelines.com and mcicoach.com.
OH’s Laketran And Local Libraries Partner To Encourage Summer Reading And Transit Ridership
This summer, Lake County, OH’s Laketran and local libraries are partnering to offer a variety of Ride & Read programs to encourage the use of public transportation and participation in the libraries’ summer reading programs for youth and adults.
“Libraries are a very popular destination along our local routes, and we share a common mission of providing access in our communities,” said Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “We have a lot of adults and seniors riding our buses regularly to the library, and we are teaching students (who may be home during summer break without transportation) that the bus is an affordable and easy way to get around.”
Six public libraries are participating in the Libraries Along Laketran Passport program. Participants are encouraged to take Laketran to each library to collect a stamp on their Laketran passport. Participants who complete the passport and receive a stamp from all six libraries are entered into a drawing to win a grand prize. Two grand prize winners, one adult and one child, from each library will be chosen at the end of the summer reading program.
“The passport program is really designed to help riders explore new places that Laketran can take them,” said Capelle. “And one of the best advantages of riding the bus, instead of driving, is that you can read while you’re getting somewhere.”
To kick off the passport program, each library hosted a “Special Story Time on the Bus” for children and families. Story times were held on board a Laketran bus and included bus-themed stories and activities.
For teens and adults, travel training sessions were held at all participating libraries.
Laketran’s Travel Training program is a self-paced process where an individual or group, regardless of ability or age, can learn to ride Laketran’s Local Routes, Dial-a-Ride or Park-n-Ride services. The goal of the program is for individuals to become comfortable riding Laketran, gain mobility and independence, and broaden their involvement in Lake County.
“Working together to educate Lake County residents about the services we offer and encouraging residents to both ride Laketran and patronize local libraries seemed like a natural partnership,” said Capelle.
News From ABC
ALLSTAR Chauffeured Services Takes Delivery Of 2 New 2019 Van Hool CX45 Coaches
ALLSTAR Chauffeured Services, based out of Troy, MI, has taken delivery of two new 2019 Van Hool CX45 coaches with many upgraded amenities complementing its premium vehicle line. Each coach is powered by a Cummins engine with Allison transmission, and includes 110v USB outlets w/inverters, Wi-Fi, two 23-inch monitors and four additional 15.6-inch monitors throughout the coach as well as passenger shades. One of the coaches is also ADA equipped. In addition, there is two-toned white and grey paint and graphics. The coaches also offer full leather seating, a contoured enclosed parcel rack with hydrographic doors, wood flooring and a hydrographic lavatory door.
Celebrating 25 years in the transportation industry, ALLSTAR Chauffeured Services primarily services the Detroit, MI, area, but continues to expand its area covering out-of-state trips to New York, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland. The company employs 71 people, and has a total fleet of 47 vehicles including 8 motorcoaches. ALLSTAR began purchasing coaches in 2016 with two new Van Hool models.
“ALLSTAR provides a great example of how traditional limousine companies are entering the full-size coach market and succeeding,” said Brenda Borwege, senior vice president of the Midwest-Southwest Region, ABC Companies. “It offers an upscale Van Hool coach product and is complementing it with a successful business model focusing on the service side of the business to enhance the client experience.”
ALLSTAR’s Chief Financial Officer and Managing Partner Jason Fritz, said, “Whether you are riding in one of our executive sedans or a full-size coach, you will enjoy the luxury of a high-end chauffeured experience. Our clients are used to luxuries such as full-leather seating, technology and other amenities that we are very pleased to also be able to offer on a full-size coach.”
ALLSTAR is known for leveraging technology to improve the customer experience both pre- and during transportation. Prior to travel, clients have the ability to track their vehicles' arrival via a mobile app or with the link in their email confirmation. Customer alerts can be set up by email or text to notify a vehicle’s status as well. Inside the new coaches, clients also enjoy onboard technologies including Wi-Fi, Roku for streaming services, satellite radio, and on-board TVs.
When asked why they chose to work with ABC on this purchase, Fritz said, “We purchased our first two full-sized coaches from ABC in 2016 and have not been disappointed. The service and support that we continue to receive from the ABC team, made where to purchase our new coach an easy decision.” Referencing working with ABC Parts Source and ABC Service, Fritz mentioned “Getting parts and service has always been very easy. Our coach parts are shipped quickly, and someone has always been available to answer the service questions we have.”
ALLSTAR has been an active member of UMA and ABA since its first coach purchase in 2016. The company has been a member of NLA since 1998.
Pioneer Trails Adds New Van Hool CX45 To Fleet
Pioneer Trails of Millersburg, OH, took delivery of a new Van Hool CX45 in late spring.
With locations in both Ohio and West Virginia, the company specializes in providing scheduled line run service to the state of Florida, and also operates three different tour companies which offer scheduled and custom tours to area attractions, shopping, dining, recreation and more.
Founded over 35 years ago by Dave and Irene Swartzentrubber, the family-owned and operated business is now in its second generation with son, Wendyl, leading operations management.
“Pioneer Trails has been a mainstay within the Amish community for generations, and adding the new CX45 to our fleet helps us continue to deliver a first-rate transportation experience to our loyal customers,” said Wendyl Swartzentrubber, Pioneer Trails’ general manager.
“The Swartzentrubber family has a previous history in the automotive body business, and that level of detail transfers to their motorcoach operation,” said Pete Bachrach, senior account executive with ABC Companies. “They run a meticulous fleet, and we worked together to integrate unique options that reflect the high standards of their operation.
“The new 56-passenger Van Hool CX45 is powered by a Detroit Diesel engine and features a custom paint and graphics package produced by ABC. Onboard, passengers can enjoy comfort seating with leather inserts and piping detail and woodgrain floors throughout. Digital conveniences including Wi-Fi, a wireless PA system, six video monitors, and 110V outlets are at all seats. In addition, cupholders, magazine nets and enclosed overhead parcel storage give passengers organized stowage for personal items and greater comfort.”
ABC Companies works closely with the company to provide after-sale support including parts and warranty support, financial services and mobile technician service as requested by Pioneer Trails.
“Our focus is on helping Pioneer Trails to achieve its goals,” said Bachrach. “Whether that means supporting its growth with premier Van Hool equipment or helping support the fleet to a high-performance standard, ABC Companies is excited to continue building a strong relationship with this outstanding company.”
ABC supports customers with an after-sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from 10 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2871 or visit www.abc-companies.com.
Transdev North America Remanufactures 20 Buses With Midwest Bus
Transdev, a private provider of multiple modes of transportation in North America, has upgraded part of a shuttle bus fleet in Florida with the help of public transit bus remanufacturer Midwest Bus Corporation.
“Transdev needed support in remanufacturing 20, 40-foot, low-floor Gillig buses to provide shuttle services outside Orlando. Transdev selected Midwest in late 2018 to modify the buses with improvements to belts, hoses, suspension, AC, seat inserts, paint and more. Work was completed, and the last bus was delivered to Transdev in early April,” said Midwest Bus.
“Cities, counties, airports, companies and universities contract with Transdev to operate their transportation that people actively choose to ride. The company has a high commitment to safety.”
Transdev operates globally in 20 countries on five continents. Midwest and Transdev have previously worked together on projects for New York and Montreal.
For more information on Midwest Bus Corporation, visit www.midwestbus.com.
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